Treat Yourself Tuesday: The Best Treat Ever!

It’s been a while since I’ve linked up with Becky over Olives ‘n’ Wine and Treat Yourself Tuesday!  I’m never any good at remembering to take pictures, so these are some random snaps from over the past few weeks.

A few Fridays ago at work I decided I earned a treat in the form of this delicious drink.  All that sugar, it’s definitely a few and far between treat 🙂

Sanpell

That same night, the boyfriend and I went for a walk at a local arboretum and were treated to this beautiful sunset.

mortonI was then treated by the boyfriend fiance to the best surprise EVER.  Don’t mind the terrible picture… it was dark and selfies are hard when you’re SO EXCITED.  I’ve been dating this amazing man for nearly four and a half years, and I could not be more happy!

surprise

All this excitement was followed by celebratory pizza! And beer! And wine! And ice cream!  (And followed the next morning by a rough 12 mile run…)

pizza

Since that wonderful evening?  I’ve been all-the-wedding-things! Somewhere in between my dream wedding and reality 🙂

One dream? The Palmer House Chicago.  This building is just gorgeous.  Did you know that brownies were invented at the Palmer House?  Mrs. Palmer requested a dessert for a group of ladies during the Chicago World’s Fair and the Palmer House chefs came up with a brownie.  See?  It’s a great place.

PalmerHouse

Another dream?  The Chicago Cultural Center.  This dome?  Amazing.

CulturalCenter CulturalCenter2

 

And with that, I’m back to day dreaming.  I’ll come back to reality… sometime… maybe 🙂

What is your fantasy wedding location?

Half marathon Training: Weeks 5 and 6

Last time I recapped the first month of my half marathon training, but now I’m hoping to break it into two week segments.

Week 5
After the vacation fiasco of zero running during the whole week, I got back into it right away when I got back. And by right away I mean in Tuesday. I was tired on Monday and my apartment was over run with dirty clothing and other just-got-home-from-vacation mess. It was a slower run, but that’s to be expected when you take a week off. I took a new 2.4 mile route and found a disc golf course! I may have to go try sometime…

IMG_2831.JPG

Wednesday I was nervous and excited for! I joined a training group to train for this half. I ran nearly all of the last training by myself, and 12 miles solo is long. I was excited to meet people, and scared to meet people. Ever have that feeling? I find people scary and intimidating, which is no offense to any of you, I’m just pretty introverted around new people. But it was fiiiiine! Better than fine! There are quite a few people around my pace, so we ran and chatted. Fun times!

Running Group #1

Saturday I met with the group again for our long run. And WOAH was it humid. Yuck. Hopefully this won’t happen again.  I was having issues with water.  I didn’t want to drink to much and have a sloshy stomach or have to pee, but I didn’t want to end up totally dehydrated.  By the end I definitely concluded I could have drank more water.

Total for the week was about 11.5 miles!

Holy Humidity!

Holy Humidity!

Week 6
I busted out three miles after work on Monday, exploring some more new routes. Not to far behind my office is a few parks, and a bunch of intertwining trails. I run back there regularly and can make up new routes ever time! It’s great, I live new paths.

Flowers run

Wednesday was back with the group and it was muuuuch less humid this time. But it’s starting to get darker sooner and I’m not a fan! When our runs get longer and the sun sets earlier we will be coming back in the dark for sure!

Wed Trail

Friday I finally got to go back to yoga! I haven’t been in a while because my regular class was Wednesday evenings. Which is the same time as my running group meets. But I had Friday off work, so I was able to get to yoga mid morning on Friday. Honestly? I was in a funky grouchy mood and it wasn’t the most fun I’ve ever had. My legs were apparently tired and my muscles were shaking while I was trying to hold poses. Not the relaxing experience I was looking for.

Yoga

I work up for Saturday’s long run and everything hurt.  My shoulders, arms, abs, legs… all of it.  What on earth happened during that yoga class?  Ouch.  I met with the group, and we set off for one loop around the trail, or about 5.5 miles.  Considering the weather we have had lately, this weather was beautiful.  The wind did pick up part way through which made the up hills a pain.  But we did it!  5.5(1) miles in nearly 1:00 on the dot!

saturday

Friday Five: Fall Preview

It’s time for Friday Five, folks! Once again, I’m joining the Friday Five link up with the ladies of Eat Pray Run, DC, You Signed Up For What and Mar on the Run.  Earlier this week I had been thinking about making a fall bucket list, but decided it could wait. I’m working on getting excited for fall, but I also feel like summer just got here! I’ve still got one thing to check off my summer bucket list… I want to make it to one more baseball game! But when the Friday Five theme was announced, “Fall Preview,” I decided it was time to think about fall!

But quickly before fall… head over HERE to see what I was up to during summer! (I am going to miss summer…)

Fall Bucket List
1) Finish my half marathon training and run the race! After an extraordinarily humid Chicago weekend, it will be nice to run in slightly cooler weather! (But not yet! I’m not done with summer yet!) I blame this pace on the heat and humidity!

Holy Humidity!

Holy Humidity!

2) Take a hike in crunchy leaves. I love walking through the woods with perfect fall sun with crunch leaves underfoot. The company doesn’t hurt either.

Hike
3) Make chai teas lattes and pumpkin lattes at home! Last year I started making chai lattes at home with instruction from Cassie over at Back to Her Roots, and they are delicious! Two years ago I had attempted a pumpkin latte (also from Back to Her Roots), and it was a bit of a failure, but I want to master it this year.

4) One other shorter race. I love fall, and fall mornings are even better. I love the crisp air. There’s no better way to enjoy mornings than with a race! I’ve been trying to find one for boyfriend and I to run that fits around my half training, his crazy work travel schedules, and other various commitments like a cousin’s wedding. So far… I haven’t had much luck. But I’m working on it!

5) Trip to the farm! My family has a farm in the boonies, and it’s a pretty great place to go. One weekend last year I went and hung out with my family to pick apples and grapes. We made our goodies into grape jelly, grape juice and apple cider. Boyfriend and I took some of the grape juice and are making it into wine!

Farm

That’s it, guys!  Top 5 for fall! Now I am even more excited about fall!

What about you?  What’s on your schedule for fall?

Have a great (3-day!) weekend!

Friday Five: 5 Things to Love About…

Once again, I’m joining the Friday Five link up with the ladies of Eat Pray Run, DC, You Signed Up For What and Mar on the Run.  This weeks theme… Five Things to Love About *Blank.*  My choice?

Five Things to Love About Running!

1) Fun race locations. Last year there was a new runway opening at Chicago’s O’Hare airport with a race to celebrate. I LOVE all things air travel… planes, air ports and my traditional in-flight tomato juice. I love seeing planes taking off and landing. Dorky? Maybe. But I just had to run that race. Other awesome places I’ve run… Lambeau Field (GO GREEN BAY PACKERS) and US Cellular Field (the Chicago White Sox). There is a race a Miller Park (The Milwaukee Brewers) that is on my future list of races.

This disaster of a picture was taken while running through the player's tunnel at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI.

This disaster of a picture was taken while running through the player’s tunnel at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI.

2) New distances = automatic PR. On the 4th of July, they boyfriend and I met up with a friend to run a 4 mile race, “4 on the 4th.” Totally new distance, so anything is a PR! Boyfriend says, “wouldn’t that make it more of a base time?” Hush, you. It’s a PR. No goal going in, but after a while I noticed I was pretty much on pace for 40 minutes. 10:00/mile is pretty good for me, but I knew I’d have to keep at it during the last mile to make it. No slow last mile like I normally end up with. I went around the last corner and… hill. Ha! I had forgotten about the downhill in the beginning. I had to haul a$$ up that mountain, but I made it! 39:47.

4onthe4th

3) Pretty scenery and adventures. New running routes put some new adventure in training, and they can be so pretty! Running on the trails behind my office and I found this adorable little spot.

McD

4) New friends. In preparation for half number two, I joined a training group! Last time I did most of the training by myself. 12 miles solo? Long! Last night was the first night and my new running buddies and I pounded out just over four miles while chatting and getting to know each other. It’s so fun to know that I get to hang with these lovely ladies for the next three months leading up to our big day.

Running Group #1 

5) Satisfaction and accomplishment. It’s a great feeling watching yourself (and all your running buddies!) improve, finish races, succeed at goals. You get out of running what you put into it and a little hard work can go a long way in making progress. You can do ANYTHING with the right mind set.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

What’s your favorite thing about running?